Saturday, May 26, 2007

Nick Kosciuk



I have just discovered this artist's work -- his paintings are on display at the St. Julien Hotel in Boulder, CO -- and am left disturbed and haunted. Nick Kosciuk uses fairy tale imagery to expose the fetishization of children; there are no direct depictions of acts of abuse, but you can see the abuse in the eyes and postures of the children. There is some horrible knowledge and fear in the eyes in "Butterfly in Red." And the painting of the adolescent standing, eyes closed, with a forest in the back, reminds me terribly (though perhaps without the artist's intention) of the visual of Lavinia after her assault in the wood, in Julia Taymor's Titus. Kosciuk's paintings are of children in eastern Europe, and the money he makes from his sales goes to support orphanages in Belarus.

The idea that fairy tales allow us to explore, in safe ways, the ramifications and psychology of abuse, rape, and other forms of violence or cruelty is nothing new, but I rarely see a contemporary artist conducting just that exploration in such a vibrant and chilling manner. The two paintings I've posted here on the blog are not Rosciuk's most beautiful or disturbing, so take a look at the rest at www.nickkosciuk.com.

9 comments:

markgleason said...

I like Nick's work too. You may be interested in my paintings at www.markgleason.net

Pam said...

I just read your post of May 2007. You are completely misinformed about these paintings. Maybe you should get informed before you write about stuff.

Dante's Heart said...

Hi Pam,

We're sorry to have offended. This is an interpretive, not a factual, piece, and one in celebration of Nick Kosciuk's work.

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Jessie James said...

Pam is absolutely right; the author has no idea what they're talking about in this synopsis of Kosciuk's work. While the author makes the pretense of appreciation with their words, they fail to take in the intent, scope and importance of Kosciuk's meaning. His focus is orphaned children in Belarus who have big problems; his attention and monetary contributions to them deserves praise... Not naive, outrageous and potentially damaging comments. My estimation is a guilty conscience on the writers behalf? What else could lead a viewer to jump to such dark and twisted conclusions of the beautiful and haunting aesthetic representations of fragile childhood innocence. The right thing to do? Delete this rubbish, under the guise of thoughtful critique, immediately.

Dante's Heart said...

Jessie, our intent was to praise Kosciuk's work; I fear you have misunderstood our review. We did not say that Kosciuk's art fetishizes children. We said that Kosciuk's art exposes how children in poverty are fetishized by others. His artwork emphasizes the lostness, precariousness, and fragility of orphaned lives.

Laura Resurrectors said...

Dante,

I see nothing wrong with your interpretations of Nick's subjects.

I am a big fan and buyer of Nick's work and we exchange e-mails and phone calls (sometimes very lengthy ones) where he will passionately go into the exploitation of the children of whom he paints.

He has been working on a book which, when released, will display his compassion for his orphans in full bloom and great detail.

Mary said...

I think that there are people having problems with this piece because they have problems comprehending the written word.

Laura Resurrectors said...

Nick will be my guest in the next couple of months. I'm commissioning him to do two portraits and he is visiting to soak in the environs of his subjects. Watch for my blog post about this in July.

BTW, He's finished with his book and is now looking for a publisher.